350 Critchley to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram K202 BATAVIA, 5 December 1948, 3.45 p.m.


Yesterday afternoon (December 4th) Cochran returned to Batavia with Hatta, Natsir and Roem for last minute talks with the Dutch Ministers. Contrary to paragraph 4 of my telegram K. 201 [1], Cochran had carried to Djokjakarta an invitation for this visit which he had not disclosed to anyone here.

2. The Ministers held private discussions with Hatta regarding the powers of high representative of the Crown, particularly in relation to the use of the Dutch Army. No other Republicans took part in the discussions. Hatta maintained the attitude set out in paragraph 3 of my telegram K.201 and argued that the provisions of his aide-memoire would only give high representative of the Crown power to use Dutch forces in cases where the Interim Federal Government either concurred or was undecided. Hatta also maintained that the Interim Federal Government should control the Federal forces. The Dutch cannot accept these points which they regard as inconsistent with their sovereignty and with Article 1 of six additional Renville principles. [2]

3. This morning the Netherlands Ministers left Batavia to report to their Government and Hatta and his party returned to Djokjakarta.

4. Following last night's talks with Hatta, Stikker admitted to the Committee of Good Offices that his Mission had failed and that there was no immediate prospect of an agreement with the Republic.

He said that the Netherlands would proceed without the Republic, to the formation of an Interim Federal Government by about December 15th. He has insisted that the bill to establish Interim Government contains an additional clause which will leave the door open for the Republic to join. This clause will permit provisions of the bill to be modified without reference to Parliament in accordance with any subsequent agreement with the Republic.

5. The Prime Ministers of the States of East Indonesia, [Pas]undan, have told Hatta that they will only participate in the proposed Interim Federal Government providing that there is a specific provision that an action will not be taken against Republic. It remains to be seen whether they, and particularly the former, will maintain this stand in the face of strong Dutch pressure.

6. The Committee will now report to the Security Council in Paris the results of direct negotiations. It will delay this report at least three days to give the Ministers an opportunity to consult their Government. Hatta intends to report to the Committee in a few days on direct talks.

1 Paragraph 4 of Document 348.

2 See Article 6 of Document 24.

[AA:A1838, 403/3/1/1, xix]